Write a check for education | AspenTimes.com

Write a check for education

Dear Editor:

Aspen Education Foundation wants to be part of the investment you make in your child. Our community will fund hockey rinks, a field of dreams, ski club programs, even saving the valley’s trees. Are we willing to ramp up funding for public education yet? It’s obvious we like sports and the outdoors, and that we believe in our children’s athletic abilities.

I’m challenging the community to fund our children’s minds. It’s easy to look at the school district’s 21st century state-of-the-art campus, and conclude it needs no additional financial support. But, as the Disney movie Aladdin showed us, “it’s not what’s on the outside that counts but what’s on the inside that truly matters.”

The impact of a quality education matters for a lifetime.

The state of Colorado will most likely hand the Aspen School District budget cuts for the year ahead. Aspen Education Foundation donations are down more than 30 percent, which is in line with other nonprofits in the nation. The likelihood of core and enrichment program cuts at the district is very real for 2009-10. Parents often remark that it doesn’t matter, because their little Johnny or Joanne is “above average” and doesn’t take advantage or need this or that special program. Many believe that the state is responsible for funding public education ” that’s why we pay income and property taxes. End of conversation. Guess what, the state doesn’t send enough, and AEF and others have been helping to bridge the financial gap for years. So much so that the school district now relies on AEF and others’ annual giving to support many of their core programs.

AEF’s mission is clear: to promote excellence in public education by raising money for the Aspen School District. We want to enrich students’ minds and retain our great teachers. Being forced to reduce teaching staff will negatively impact every student in the district in some way, from larger class sizes and fewer exploration classes to lower overall grades. Celebrate a great academic year, hug a teacher, support public education, and write a check for next year today. Mail by May 31 to: P O Box 220 Aspen, CO 81612.

Have a safe and fun summer!

Bob Glah

treasurer, Aspen Education Foundation

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